This off-season, nearly every fantasy baseball pundit pegged Boston Red Sox SP Jon Lester as a legitimate sleeper. In the middle of May, Lester was 6-0 and was on track to win Fantasy Comeback Pitcher of the Year.
However, the southpaw has hit a bit of a skid lately. He has only won three of his last 12 starts and has compiled a miserable 3-6 record to go along with a disgusting 6.67 ERA over that stretch. He has seen his record drop to 9-6 after an amazing start and has seen his ERA balloon all the way up to 4.50. It has truly been the tale of two halves for the two-time All-Star hurler.
In his most recent start against the red-hot Tampa Bay Rays, Lester actually looked rather impressive. He pitched 6.1 innings and stuck out a season-high eight batters. He gave up just two earned runs (two homers) in the contest, one to Wil Myers and the other to Evan Longoria.
Many thought Lester could have finished the inning, seeing as he only threw 96 pitches, but manager John Farrell decided to take it easy with the left-hander. Lester still pitched well enough to earn the win, and if anything, his most recent quality start is reassuring for fantasy owners.
Lester may not be the guaranteed fantasy ace that he was circa 2010, but he can still be a valuable third starter over the second half. Don’t give up on Lester just yet, because he looks like he is ready to turn things around.